Last week I went to my children’s “Variety Show” at their elementary school. Going to the show I thought I would simply see something of a spring concert where all the kids sang with their classmates. You know…the songs they’ve been belting out in your kitchen for the last 2 months?! Typical school concert stuff.
What I didn’t expect to see was dance performances, singing, beat-boxing, solo music performances, even the sweetest ventriloquist in the history of ventriloquists. When the first number began and we saw a young gal sing “Fight Song” (with the cutest little lisp) while three of her friends danced in front of what had to be at least 100 people, my first thought was “she must be so nervous, I couldn’t do that!”.
As I watched performance after performance a question bounced around my head: When do we lose our brave? I turned to one of the Moms next to me and said “Would you ever do that?” to which she laughed and said “No friggin’ way!”. So…when do we lose our brave?
Sure, I bet those performers were nervous and I bet the night before they didn’t sleep that well. But, they signed up to perform at the Variety Show weeks, if not months ago, and have been working on their numbers ever since. They knew they’d be performing for the school, teachers and parents and yet they still signed up. Would you have?
Some of you will answer yes and for that, I applaud you, but I figure most of us wouldn’t. Why is that? When do we lose our brave?
Do we get so bogged down by what people think we should be doing or how people think we should be acting that we fail to reach or do uncomfortable things? Do we worry too much about what others think? Do we worry that we’ll look silly? Because I don’t think these questions went through these performers’ minds. And, if they did, the thoughts weren’t significant enough to stop them from getting up in front of 100+ people and performing.
Or, is it that our brave has to change as we get older and we only have so much brave to share? We need to be brave for our children and fight fights for them, we need to be brave in our jobs and fight for our positions or to grow our companies. We need to be brave in our relationships to ensure that they continue to survive and thrive. Maybe all that bravery gets used up in the day to day tasks of motherhood. I don’t know.
All I know is that those elementary school performers were awesome and I was envious of their courage and bravery. I wanted to hug every single one of them and let them know that they’ve inspired me to put myself out there a little bit. They’ve inspired me to find my brave and let others see and feel it.
My challenge to all of you is to find your brave again. What are you doing in your life that is putting you in that uncomfortable place that requires you to find your courage and your bravery? What do you want to do in your life that requires you to step out of your comfort zone, unlock another pocket of bravery and push yourself so you can grow?
Why do I think this is necessary?
Because if you ask those young kids how it felt to finish their number and hear the mad applause from the crowd, I’m pretty sure their reply would be “AWESOME!” followed by the biggest, most beautiful smile. I looked at the kids’ faces after their performances and I saw pride and joy. There was no fear about “how it went” or “how they did”…they were simply proud of themselves. And wouldn’t it be awesome to find pride again? Correction, wouldn’t it be awesome to find unabashed pride in ourselves again?
So, let’s let our bravery lead us to that unabashed pride and joy. It’s possible…we just need to either find or expand it again.